Oregon Cultural Trust

The Oregon Cultural Trust was authorized in 1999 to increase public and private support for Oregon's arts, heritage and humanities. Its visionary goal: create a sustainable $200 million permanent endowment for culture. Since 2002, Oregonians have contributed over $25 million to the Trust. The Trust has awarded over $11 million in grants to every corner of the state. Over 40,000 cultural license plates are fueling the Trust's efforts in all regions.
Aug 5, 2013

Bringing Us Together

Harney County Award
Harney County Award

The Oregon Cultural Trust Board approved $1,618,056 in grants for the coming year at its quarterly meeting in  Newport July 25. Awards of $539,351 were made in  each of the Trust’s three grant categories: competitive cultural development grants, cultural participation grants (to county and tribal cultural coalitions), and partner grants to the Trust’s five statewide partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Historical Society and State Office of Historic Preservation).

“The Cultural Trust, now in its tenth year of grantmaking, is supporting some of Oregon’s most innovative and inclusive arts, heritage and humanities programming. These are projects that bring us together as communities, inspire our children and attract thousands of visitors to our state,” said Christine D’Arcy, executive director. “We estimate the grantees’ direct spending in this round of funding will be in excess of $14 million.”

Cultural Development grants support a wide range of projects: preservation and renovation of such important stuctures as The WOW Hall in Eugene and the Happy Canyon Grandstand in Pendleton; tours of live performces to be undertaken by Eugene Ballet, Portland Baroque Orchestra and the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and projects that connect culture with Oregon youth and families.

Although 28 of the 49 Cultural Development grants will go to groups in the Portland metro area, many will support performances, residencies, classes, and workshops in smaller towns. Portland Opera to Go, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Oregon Children’s Foundation and Portland Youth Philharmonic, as examples, will tour as part of the scope of their grant.

To see full list of Competitive Cultural Development grants and Cultural Participation grants, by region, click here.

Outgoing Cultural Trust Board member and former Oregon Arts Commission and Cultural Trust Board Chair Norm Smith lauded the board for its funding recommendations. “I see increased accessibility and broadened reach as important themes of this year’s grant giving. Having served on the Trust Board since 2006, this represents to me a wonderful evolution - of the Cultural Trust’s grant making philosophy and the Oregon cultural community itself.”

May 7, 2013

Inspiring Oregon's Children

Sisters High School senior Jaimee Simundson has done some extraordinary things in her first eighteen years. She recorded a CD, built a guitar, taught fifth grade music, and held a professional internship. Her post-graduation plan is to serve with Americorps and then head to college.

Nine years ago Jaimee had different interests, a mix of academics and athletics, until she discovered the Americana Project. The project, which brings music education and American folk traditions to the public schools in Sisters, mentored Jaimee to find herself, not only as a performer, but as a teacher, songwriter, luthier, and member of a focused, achievement-based peer group. This June, she’ll graduate with career experience, education options, and a unique life trajectory.

The Oregon Cultural Trust, through the Deschutes County Cultural Coalition, has made multiple grants to the Americana Project. Directly, and through its county and tribal coalitions and five statewide partners, the Trust has awarded thousands of arts, heritage and humanities grants.

This important work inspires our children, engages our citizens and fuels our economy, ensuring that Oregon is and remains a great place to live, work and play, all the while building a permanent fund for culture in Oregon.
It’s simple to give to the Oregon Cultural Trust. And that gift benefits you while it increases tourism, builds community, and educates young people across the state.

First, donate to one or more of the 1,300+ cultural nonprofits in Oregon. A searchable list is provided at http://www.culturaltrust.org/what-we-support/participating-cultural-non-profits. Then, make an equal gift to the Cultural Trust. Oregon’s unique cultural tax credit means your Trust donation comes back to you when you file your taxes – up to $500 per individual, $1,000 for households filing jointly and $2,500 for C-Corp businesses.

Give by June 30 to continue providing uncharted opportunities for Oregonians like Jaimee Simundson. Join me in supporting Oregon culture by making your gift, today!

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Feb 15, 2013

Oregon Cultural Trust Donations Up 3.1% in 2012

Oregon Statehood Day cake
Oregon Statehood Day cake

Happy Birthday to Oregon (February 14, 1859)! Thanks to your generous support of the arts, heritage and humanities in 2012, the Oregon Cultural Trust received gifts totaling $3,959,462.43 last calendar year, an increase of $119,126.60, or 3.1% over 2011.

These numbers attest to the value that Oregonians place on our creative economy, historic spaces and power of culture to transform us.

Donations to the Cultural Trust have increased every year since the Trust's inception in 2002, with the exception of 2008, when the US and Oregon economies slowed dramatically. This trend indicates that Oregon residents value culture as a community builder, an educational priority, and as part of the Oregon way of life.

"These contributions support not only things that bring beauty into our lives but challenge us to think in innovative new ways. I am delighted that Oregonians have stepped up their support of the Cultural Trust," said Executive Director Christine D'Arcy.

In 2012, the Trust again enjoyed a productive relationship with Willamette Week Give!Guide. More than $195,000, an 18% increase over 2011, was contributed through the Give!Guide. The Give Guide linked the Trust to 36 cultural groups, from the Library Foundation to Rock N' Roll Camp for Girls, reinforcing the opportunity to give to an Oregon arts, heritage or humanities group and then to the Trust, to take advantage of Oregon's cultural tax credit.

Cultural Trust Board Chair, Bob Speltz was pleased with the year-end results. "I am gratified to see thousands of fellow citizens support culture - the arts, heritage and humanities in Oregon, in spite of our challenging economy. I'm inspired by their generosity. Our state is enriched because of them."

Increased giving to the Cultural Trust over the last 10 years has allowed for continued grant making in all corners of Oregon, to such organizations as the Coos Art Museum; Linfield College; Oregon Bach Festival, and Libraries of Eastern Oregon, and for projects as diverse as the Head to Toe exhibit on Native American dress at Bend's High Desert Museum, the Carrie Mae Weems retrospective at Portland Art Museum, and increased capacity at Ross Ragland Theatre. The 42 county and tribal cultural coalitions will also be making Trust-funded grants to community-based projects this summer. In addition to more than $1.5million given in grants by the Oregon Cultural Trust last year, the Trust's permanent fund for culture in Oregon continues to grow, standing at almost $20 million.

So why wait until December to make your 2013 charitable gifts? Show some love for Oregon culture and consider a gift to the Trust in honor of Oregon's birthday today. Or set up monthly donations, helping the Trust create a steady stream of income for the permanent fund and increased capacity for grant giving. Happy Birthday to our beautiful state, and thank you to all who support the Cultural Trust.

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